Sci-tech

Valve Will Address Steam Review Bombing With New Tool

Valve Will Address Steam Review Bombing With New Tool

And plenty of players aren't going to take kindly to the idea that DRM should be considered off-topic.

A "review bomb" is a sudden influx of a large number of negative user reviews of a game, usually regardless of its actual quality, meant to discredit or punish its developer or publisher. This is a broad enough definition of irrelevant reviews that it could include many things, but Valve has confirmed that it includes those complaining about digital rights management (DRM) like Denuvo.

"Once our team has identified that the anomalous activity is an off-topic review bomb, we'll mark the time period it encompasses and notify the developer".

Once the team determines that the reviews for that day or week are off-topic, all reviews including legitimate ones will no longer contribute to the overall score. Valve says "our reasoning is that the "general" Steam player doesn't care as much about them, so the Review Score is more accurate if it doesn't contain them".

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The downside to this process is that every user review during an off-topic review bomb will be removed from a game's overall Steam score, even the good ones. "The reviews within that time period will then be removed from the Review Score calculation".

The "off-topic" criteria refers to reviews "where the focus of those reviews is on a topic that we consider unrelated to the likelihood that future purchasers will be happy if they buy the game". It is worth noting that the reviews themselves will not be removed, but rather made hidden so that those who are still interested in them can still find them.

In an effort to combat review bombing, Valve has updated how user reviews are handled on Steam. Because review bombs tend to be "temporary distortions", all reviews will be caught in the net. To be clear, this will only impact what you see: You can not influence whether off-topic reviews are included in review scores for other people.

Other new user review features are coming, but Valve said it felt that this one was important enough to roll out on its own. Those with comments on the actual game should be aware of other reviews before deciding to post as a result. One such flaw is that any genuine reviews posted during what Valve deems to be a "review bomb" will be filtered out alongside the off-topic posts. They're technically not a part of the game, but they are an issue for some players. "It's the same reason that we decisively ban partners who engage in review manipulation-customers need to be able to trust the system for it be valuable".


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